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5218 Lawton Avenue
Oakland, CA 94114

510-654-9159

Oliver McCrum Wines has been importing small production Italian wine and distributing to fine retail and restaurant establishes throughout California since 1994. Over time, our portfolio of producers has steadily grown to over 45 producers from 15 different regions of Italy. We look for typical Italian wines with clarity and freshness, usually made from indigenous Italian grape varieties using clean, transparent winemaking techniques and no obvious use of oak. 

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Filtering by Category: FAQ

Temperature control

Michele Boscia

I was just talking to the manager of our warehousing company, and I was amazed to hear that most of the containers they unload are NOT temperature-controlled. We have used 'working reefers' (containers that are insulated and actively cooled to a given temperature) for about 15 years for every single load we import, year 'round. Our warehouse is temperature-controlled, and our trucks are temperature-controlled, both here and when picking up the wine in Italy. We also occasionally use a clever little device called a data logger to check shipment temperatures, just to keep everyone honest. Many wine producers are trying to use less SO2 these days, and I think temperature control of wine is more important now than ever.

No Wonder They Taste Different

Michele Boscia

Most experienced tasters note a difference between the Falanghina grown by the Di Meo family at La Sibilla in the Campi Flegrei along the coast of Naples and the Falanghina grown in inland Campania, around Benevento. Well, it turns out there's a good reason for the difference: there are two entirely distinct varieties with the name Falanghina, Falanghina Beneventana (from around Benevento) and Falanghina Flegrea (from the Campi Flegrei, where La Sibilla is located).

Vincenzo and Luigi di Meo tell me that:

'Falanghina Beneventana has a compact bunch with oval berries, very concentrated acidity but low extraction of polyphenols. The wines tend to have very high acidity, both malic and tartaric (in fact most producers put the wines through malolactic fermentation), and low pH. The wines are very drinkable if well made but tend not to be very structured.'

'Falanghina Flegrea has sparsely packed bunches with roundish berries, low acidity but very high dry extract. The wines tend to be more minerally than acidic, with substantial polyphenolic structure. Malolactic is usually avoided because the pH is higher and the acids tend to precipitate. The wines are normally more structured and 'salty.''

The two grapes have been DNA tested and in fact are separate varieties. 

No Wonder They Taste Different

Michele Boscia

Most experienced tasters note a difference between the Falanghina grown by the Di Meo family at La Sibilla and the Falanghina grown in inland Campania, around Benevento. Well, it turns out there's a good reason for the difference: there are two entirely distinct varieties with the name Falanghina, Falanghina Beneventana (from around Benevento) and Falanghina Flegrea, from the Campi Flegrei, where La Sibilla is located. Vincenzo and Luigi di Meo tell me that:

'Falanghina Beneventana has a compact bunch with oval berries, very concentrated acidity but low extraction of polyphenols. The wines tend to have very high acidity, both malic and tartaric (in fact most producers put the wines through malolactic fermentation), and low pH. The wines are very drinkable if well made but tend not to be very structured.'

'Falanghina Flegrea has sparsely packed bunches with roundish berries, low acidity but very high dry extract. The wines tend to be more minerally than acidic, with substantial polyphenolic structure. Malolactic is usually avoided because the pH is higher and the acids tend to precipitate. The wines are normally more structured and 'salty.''

The two grapes have been DNA tested and in fact are separate varieties.